Panthers nip Flyers in SO
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Jonathan Huberdeau was credited with the winner in a shootout, as the Florida Panthers downed the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, on Thursday.
The rookie Huberdeau opened the deciding stanza by scoring after fooling Ilya Bryzgalov with several stick moves. Peter Mueller also tallied in Florida's next chance, while Jose Theodore turned away Matt Read and Claude Giroux to win the contest.
"I take pride in it," said Mueller of his mindset in the breakaway round. "It's a time where you can steal a point right there."
Jack Skille and Stephen Weiss scored in regulation for the Panthers, who have won three of four. Theodore ended up with 30 saves as the visitors avenged a 7-1 home loss to the Flyers on Jan. 26.
"It was a little bit of payback for last time. We did get outplayed pretty badly," Theodore admitted.
Read and Jakub Voracek tallied for the Flyers, who have lost four of their last six. Bryzgalov stopped 22 shots in defeat.
"Yeah, it's frustrating. Most of the game we played well," said Flyers captain Giroux. "There were a couple minutes there in the first where we were a little sloppy everywhere, but all around we played a pretty good game and a pretty solid team game. But in the end, we need those points. We needed that shootout win and we couldn't get it done."
Despite wasting their first power-play chance early in the first period, the Panthers took a 1-0 lead when Skille's wrister escaped through Bryzgalov's armpit and dropped over the goal line with 9:08 left.
Voracek's slapper from the right circle on an ensuing Flyers man advantage evened the score less than a minute later.
The hosts took a 2-1 lead at the 2:42 mark of the second period as Mike Knuble managed to work a puck away from Theodore's glove at the right post, and Read flipped the rebound under the crossbar.
Shawn Matthias rang a shot off the post as the clock ticked under four minutes left in the frame, and then Bryzgalov dove backawards to snuff the stuffer attempt at the left post.
Only 10 seconds into a Bruno Gervais tripping call, Weiss pulled the Panthers into a 2-2 tie on a wrister from the right circle at 8:35 of the third period.
The Flyers enjoyed most of the offensive pressure in the latter stages of the third as well as overtime but failed to solve Theodore.
"This can be a turning point for our season. We can either fall back or we push forward here," said Weiss.
Philadelphia fell to 4-0-1 this season when leading after two periods ... Both clubs participated in their first shootout of 2013, and Florida recorded its first-ever shootout win over the Flyers after dropping their first three ... Philly was seeking its first three-game win streak since a five-game run from Mar. 1-10, 2012, which also marked the last time the club won 3 straight home games ... Prior to the game, Philly announced a one-year contract extension for defenseman Kimmo Timonen ... The Flyers played without forward Wayne Simmonds for the third straight game, still feeling the effects of a concussion stemming from a hit last Friday in Washington, while the Panthers scratched veteran forward Alex Kovalev.
02/07 23:36:42 ET